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Hall of Fame Stakes Preview

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 8/7/2014 8:34:50 PM

About the Race and Track

Sophomores that like the turf will be pitting skills Friday in the Grade 2 $200,000 National Museum Hall of Fame Stakes at Saratoga going 8 and a half furlongs.


This race was formerly named the Gallant Man Stakes and it was first run in 1950. Trainer Todd Pletcher conditioned the winner of this race last year Notacatbutallama when the race came off the slop. The charge was coming off a win in a $100,000 Belmont stakes.

Pletcher also trains Matterhorn but he will only get to run if the race again comes off the grass.

A Longshot With Some Value: So Lonesome

So Lonesome will have a theft on his agenda here. He may have to put away Long on Value but if he can rate on the lead he has a shot to upset the apple cart.

The Pick: Bobby’s Kitten

Give No Quarter will be trying to win his second race in a row. In his other stakes attempt in Canada, the colt pushed the issue in a small field but gave way badly and didn’t finish the race.

He did show talent from Day One and he broke his maiden in his second start by over 22 lengths.

Matterhorn shocked in his racing debut cashing at 13-1 going a mile at the Big A. He was put on the shelf, is 0 for 4 since, but was fourth to the eventual Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist. With his style, the pace will have to be right and he will need clear sailing and a glib surface.

Wallyanna may have just needed the last effort. He won his turf debut, won a $100,000 stakes on grass at Pimlico n May and he has much more speed than he just showed in his last race.

So Lonesome will not be lonely on the lead today. The New York-bred won a grass stakes last year against his own kind but the lone win this year came against $40,000 starter foes. He has proven he can come from the clouds if need be but he also showed :44 and change speed last time.

Long on Value is his name but value will not be his game today. He was a double stakes winner last year, was rank in his May event but ran big in the last pair beaten just a length in both of those races and one was a Grade 3.

Bashart is the only proven Grade 2 winner in the field. And the win came at Saratoga on the Mellon course last year when he controlled the pace and the outcome. He didn’t get the best of trips last time in a race he had to need.

Bobby’s Kitten will likely throw his hat into the speed brigade ring. He is best when pushed along early and he did win a $500,000 race at Penn National in late May. He has trained like the proverbial Swiss clock for this fray.

Kitten beat a pretty nice horse at Penn National. The horse that ran second that day took a Grade 3 at 2 and he also won the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill.

Bobby’s Kitten gets the nod in an open affair.



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